On December 2017, I took a basic workshop for people who have no idea on what is UX Design. So the main goal of this workshop was to deliver the basic knowledge to the participants that what is UX Design, why it’s needed and how its done. So let’s get started..
What is UX Design?
The term UX stands for User Experience, so the term UX clearly gives us a thought that this is directly involved with Users of any product, System or a service and about their Experiences attached with/using them.
So, User Experience Design is about creating meaningful, usable, valuable and satisfactory product for it’s users which gives them a better experience using that particular product(s).
The product, system or service we design should involve human factors like efficiency of a product, user satisfaction and their needs, limitations, accessibility and sustainability etc. This is the idea of Human-Centered Design. Human psychology is directly involved when using a product so when developing a product for your users you need to concentrate on 7 important UX factors related to Human Psychology and Usability.
Read my article on Cognitive Psychology & User Experience.
1. User Research
When you are designing a product for your users you need to know who your real users are. So User Research is a must on that particular user group to know them first. There are two types of user research —
A. Quantitative Research.
B. Qualitative Research.
“If the user is having a problem, it’s our problem.”
— Steve Jobs
Even google offers various rewards for their users to participate in their User Research studies to help them collect data.
2. Task Analysis
When developing a product we need to observe the users in action using the product to understand in detail that how they perform their tasks and achieve their intended goals. Task analysis helps us to identify the tasks that our product or service should support and it also helps us to determine the key pain points of our products which need to be improved, updated or modified for the user satisfaction and easy of use. Task analysis could be done both Cognitive or Hierarchical way.
Task analysis helps you understand:
- What your users’ goals are; what they are trying to achieve
- What users actually do to achieve those goals
- What experiences (personal, social, and cultural) users bring to the tasks
- How users are influenced by their physical environment
- How users’ previous knowledge and experience influence:
- How they think about their work
- The workflow they follow to perform their tasks
From the book , User and Task Analysis for Interface Design by JoAnn Hackos and Janice Redish.
Task Analysis also includes:
2.1 Persona — A user persona includes a detailed information of the users Name(Fictional), Address, Age, Gender, Religion, Ethnicity, Education, Job and any specific identifications etc. This information is necessary to identify the users Limitation, Ability , Desires and Goals.
2.2 Scenario — A Scenario includes the story of the users daily life and how they complete/perform the tasks.
3. User Journey Map & Card Sorting
User Journey Maps are visual interpretation of users & their connection to the the solution through step by step tasks to reach the desired goal. After the successful user research and task analysis completion, we have all the information about our users and how they are completing the tasks.
Card Sorting helps us to decontaminate the information and sort a large number of unnecessary information to smaller ones which helps us to determine which information are the important and necessary. There are mostly two ways of card sorting are done, One is Open Card Sorting and the other one is Closed Card Sorting. Participants practiced open card sorting during the workshop.
All the information are finally categorized and labeled which are considered as core features and navigation of a product or a service. This is the idea of Information Architecture(IA). A good Information Architecture helps people to understand their surroundings and find what they are looking for, in the real world as well as online.
4. Interaction Design
Interaction Design is about how your users connect to your design. It is the design of the interaction between users and products. Interaction design includes aesthetic elements, psychology, visual elements and representations, fonts, words, physical objects, timing and behavior etc.
5. Hand Sketch & Wireframes
Once all Information & features are ready it’s time to sketch the basic idea of the project so that it gives a clear idea to the team of the whole project work and the solutions as well as a final product outcome. Hand sketches are finally converted as wireframes so that it gives a clear visual representation of that final design.
The workshop covered all these parts above and i tried to give them a basic idea of everything clearly.
6. User Interface Design(UI)
User Interface (UI) Design or Graphical User Interface (GUI) is the process of making interfaces in software or computerized devices with a focus on looks or style. It’s basically the furnished version of wireframes that includes colors, stylish fonts, buttons etc that gives a perfect and real visual representation of a product.
7. Usability Testing and Prototypes
Usability testing is a process to see how easy a design is to use on a group of representative users. Users are asked to complete different tasks, while they are being observed by a researcher, to see if they encounter any problem or experience any confusion. Usability testing could be done with low fidelity prototypes/Paper Prototypes on the early stages of development or using digital Prototyping tools.
A perfect design is never done. Because design keeps changing on user demands. UX Design is a long and continuous process .. You need to understand your users and put them on the first phase every time.
Watch the video below to see what happened on the workshop that includes a panel discussion session on UX too! (In Bengali)
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